Food gifting came early this year, and I am one lucky recipient. It’s been a standard back-and-forth joke with Pam Daniel, VP and editorial director of Sarasota Magazine, that “some day” I would receive a jar of the coveted mango chutney that she so caringly prepares.
For years Pam has told me how it takes 8-10 hours of peeling, dicing, flavoring and canning her mango specialty, which by the way derives from her own trees. Each year I hear the equivalent of “Wow, this was a great batch,” or “I only made three jars so next time for sure.” OK, I get it, like some world-famous wine producers who keep a little black book and promise only certain allocated bottles, including for the Queen of England—I must prove myself worthy.
The coveted mango chutney.
Well, not only did I receive the mango chutney, my stash was three jars! One of the green variety, unripe mango chutney, and two of the regular. Well worth the years of waiting, and every taste is a flavorful bite of the hard work and love that someone puts into their food specialty. I see many grilled shrimp and chickens getting dressing up with this goodie.
The week just kept getting better as true culinary talent came alive from Riverview High staff. Perhaps in anticipation of the hectic start of school, the cooking expertise of Kate Mocherman’s bread-and-butter pickles was outstanding on our smoked turkey wraps, and I actually looked at the jar in the refrigerator twice to make sure we would have enough for next week’s beach picnic.
I'm counting the pickles for allocation.
Then came a bag of Jim Minor’s freshly roasted coffee. That’s right, Jim is the out-of-the-box teacher who should be on the cooking channel. He makes homemade bread like nobody’s grandmother and now is specializing in roasting his own coffee beans.
Jim Miner's Sarasota roast beans.
So, I sit here today proudly noshing as the recipient of the true comforts of home. Do you have a homemade specialty that you share? Send me a note on the comment button. We might just start a culinary gifting co-op!